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Colombia: over 3,000 people receive food aid

29-02-2008 News Release 08/39

Geneva/Bogotá (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has distributed food supplies to over 3,000 people – around 800 families – living in 21 settlements near the town of Samaniego in Nariño department, Colombia.

The inhabitants of this rural area are currently facing a critical situation as a result of the armed conflict in the region.

After gaining access to the area and assessing the needs of the affected population, the ICRC distributed a total of 25 tonnes of food.

Distribution of the supplies took place over two days. On Sunday 24 February, 12 tonnes of food were distributed to 1,452 people. A further 13 tonnes of food were then distributed to 1,605 beneficiaries on Wednesday 27 February. " People here have been finding it difficult to meet basic needs for several weeks now, " explained Luz Estela Marulanda, head of the assistance programme at the ICRC in Cali, who was in Nariño as the aid was distributed.

The armed conflict has had serious consequences for the civilian population. Scarcity of food is the main problem but the provision of health care and education has also been affected, as all medical staff and teachers have left the settlements.

In line with its mandate to provide protection and assistance to the victims of armed conflict, the ICRC will closely monitor the situation in Samaniego in order to be able to respond to the inhabitants’ most pressing needs.

For further information, please contact:
  Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 2458 or +41 79 217 32 24
  Yves Heller, ICRC Bogotá, tel: +57 1 313 86 30 or +57 1 311 4 91 07 89